My husband caught this great book today as it came in from cataloging: The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived. The book is fun, but that's not the point.
The point is, in gaming, we have our own list of people who are not real, and yet, have influenced us heavily. Here's a list of the top five, though they are in no particular order.
1. Mario (Super Mario Brothers)
Momma-Mia! Who doesn't love this little pisan and his brother, Luigi? Jumping, bouncing, kicking, flapping, flying, and wearing a raccoon suit, Mario has been with us as long as many of my readers have lived.
2. Link (Legend of Zelda)
The first epic hero on an epic quest, Link has seen reincarnation after reincarnation and everytime he has made a 5 on the Wolverine Scale, which is no mean feat. As the first group of gamer girls and boys collectively swooned over this hunk-a-hunk a burnin' heroeness, a star was born; one of the two that would carry Nintendo into the future.
3. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
With both sets of bazookas blazing, Lara Croft came out of no where to capture the imaginations, and libidos, of gamers every where.
4. Pac-Man (Pac-Man)
His legend endures! Though we are long passed the time when we had to pay to play the little yellow guy, we still do with millions of hits a year to sites that host him. He's showed up in webcomics and on super highways. And all of us know him by name.
5. Sephiroth (Final Fantasy 7)
Say what you want about this bad, bad pretty boy, Sephy's gotten under our collective skin and won't get out. Whether impossible to beat or impossibly easy, he has spawned his own sort of mythos and run amok with it. With references to him everywhere, even if just in passing, we can't get rid of him.